Sikhs refused to hide in the trenches like “cowards”

The day after, we heard that during the night one of the Sikh regiment had had to recapture the trench, which the Germans had taken by surprise, and that their bayonet charge was so tremendous that the enemy did not dare counter-attack. Almost immediately after that feat an order came not to allow the Indians uselessly to expose their lives by walking out of the trenches. The fact was that, in order to show their contempt for death, some Sikhs had refused to hide themselves in the trenches and had immediately drawn a fierce fire on their regiment. Fortunately, they did not insist on playing that sort of game; otherwise the Indian Army Corps would have disappeared in one week’s time out of sheer bravery. […]

A ‘Black Maria’ fell quite near a sapper while he was lying on the ground and steadily firing on the advancing foe. It did not hurt him, but dug a hole six feet deep at his side. The sapper – a Sikh, I believe – waited until the smoke had gone, and then jumped into the hole. He soon found that the position was a comfortable one, and started firing from the cover the Germans had dug for him; according to officers who were standing by, he managed to kill some fifteen or twenty Germans by himself, and would have remained there for ever if he had not been eventually ordered to retreat. He was warmly congratulated afterwards, but did not appear to think he had done anything remarkable.

Full Article: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/14/excerpts-guardian-reporting-first-world-war

 

Guru Granth Sahib

Sikh Regiment Of The British India Army in Mesopotamia during World War I. Being led by Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Quote: A Sikh soldier, Indar Singh, fighting on the Somme in September 1916, wrote home:  It is quite impossible that I should return alive.  [But] don’t be grieved at my death, because I shall die arms in hand, wearing the warrior’s clothes.  This is the most happy death that anyone can die.

Source: http://www.firstworldwar.com/features/lionsofthegreatwar.htm

 

 

Sikh soldiers in the trenches at Gallipoli in WW1

Sikh soldiers in the trenches at Gallipoli in WW1

During the Third Battle of Krithia on 4 June, the 14th Sikhs, composed entirely of seasoned Jat Sikh soldiers from the Punjab, launched repeated attacks, in the face of murderous machine gun fire, against the Turkish positions astride Gully Ravine. Held up by the barbed wire that was unaffected by the Allied artillery bombardment, a section of men leapt the barbed wire as if it were a hurdle on a sports field and charged the Turks with the bayonet. However, human valor was unavailing against modern weapons of war, and on that day the battalion’s casualties amounted to 82 percent of the men actually engaged in the battle. The repulse of the Turkish attacks on 5 July marked the end of serious fighting for the Indian brigade in the Helles area, and after a few days spent in bivouac on the coast it was moved to the island of Imbros for rest and reorganization.

Source: http://www.worldwar1.com/tripwire/smtw0213.htm